“We offer thee, O Lord Jesus, this fifth decade in honor of Thy Finding in the Temple among the learned men by Our Lady, after she had lost Thee, and we ask of Thee, through this Mystery and through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, to convert us and help us amend our lives, and also to convert all sinners, heretics, schismatics and idolaters.” (St. Louis de Montfort).
The Mystery of the Finding in the Temple is a story of a spiritual lost-and-found. Mary and Joseph assume Jesus is with them as they leave Jerusalem and head back home. They are among their family and friends – people they trust and love, so of course they would think Our Lord was there too. And yet He was not.
Instead of finding Jesus mingling among the people in the caravan, Mary and Joseph find their Son among the learned men of the Temple, discussing their faith. What relief they must have felt when they first saw Him!
Relieved, Our Lady tells Him of their sorrow and wonders why He had done such a thing. He replies, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) Why did you go everywhere looking for me? Didn’t you know you could find me here?
Just as Mary and Joseph had assumed Jesus was with them on their journey, we assume that Our Lord walks with us always as well. And He does when we are in a state of grace. But when we fall into sin, we choose to cut Him off from us, forcing ourselves to go forth alone. We may not always realize we left Him at first, but at some point our souls will cry out and we will hopefully become aware of our error. But once we realize He is lost to us, we need to sorrowfully return to the Church as Mary and Joseph did, back to the teachings of our faith, and back to Christ Himself. And only after we are reunited, our sorrow will turn to joy.
When we pray this Mystery, we pray for the conversion of many, so that one day everyone might be reunited with Christ in His Church. But we must first examine our own hearts.
Are we always walking with Our Lord as He continues to complete the Father’s work? Are our lives centered on Christ and His teachings or are we centered on our own private views on what we think or wish He had said? We must be willing to seek the Truth to convert our hearts over the things that may lead us astray, and pray for the strength it will take to make the changes we need to make, to be sure we never leave Him again.
The Lord loves a generous heart, so we should remember to pray for the conversion of others as well. There are many out there who truly believe they are living in the ways of the Lord, but have in reality followed false teachings. They are the ones represented by Mary and Joseph before they realized Christ was not with them. Do they love the Lord and wish to do His will? Of course! Does the Lord love them and want them by His side? Absolutely! He has blessed them and prepared their hearts in a special way to come to Him and be great witnesses to the faith. Make your prayers be a gentle call, bringing them to Him through his Church that they may one day realize the fullness of His love for them.
And lastly, pray fervently for those who openly reject Christ and choose to live their lives without thought to Truth or the desire to be near Him. Sometimes people get so lost in the world, they are unable to even hope that they could be saved. But with prayer there is hope for everyone, and Jesus is calling everyone Home to Him.
Our Church’s history has proven many times over that sometimes the ones who wandered farthest from God can convert and become His greatest witnesses. Send your prayers, through this Mystery, to the Blessed Mother, who desires to have all people find Christ within His Church.
“Grace of the Mystery of the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, come down into my soul and truly convert me.”
Copyright 2010 Cassandra Poppe